* Posts by veti

3015 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

veti Silver badge

Re: Those were the days

This software was clearly written in-house, by a full-time employee.

You can still do that today if you want to, and never pay a penny of license fees on that software. Strangely, though, not many companies take that option.

veti Silver badge

Re: Lateral thinking

For a 10 year guarantee, you might be able to justify storing it on a computer.

Anything longer than that, though - if you don't have it on paper, you're being near-criminally negligent.

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

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Re: Beware survival bias

That's fine, but are there any instances of modern tech - within the reach of an ordinary middle-class consumer - that are likely to last that long?

Or - scratch "likely", even "capable of" lasting that long?

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Re: Instilling new timeframes of thought in a world beset by faster/shorter.

We used to call that a "pilgrimage". It's not such a bad thing.

'Don't tell anyone but I have a secret.' There, that's my security sorted

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Re: Freebies

You need to work on your scrounging technique. It's a skill like any other, it can be learnt.

'An issue of survival': Why Mozilla welcomes EU attempts to regulate the internet giants

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Yeah well, it'll have to get in line.

People have funny ideas about free speech. The awkward truth is that it's always, everywhere, been constrained in many ways - some actively enforced, but most merely assumed and accepted.

The big difference now is that instead of offending random passers-by in the street or a handful of zealots at a public meeting, everything remotely controversial immediately gets broadcast to everyone in the world who is likely to be most upset by it. Because clicks.

veti Silver badge

But it still applies until at least 31 December.

Which implies that whatever Google is doing now, it's not contrary to GDPR or any other EU rules at all.

The European Commission digital strategy wants to, er, take back control of citizens' data

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Re: No way.

Yeah, that clause right there gives the game away. This "strategy" is about throwing taxpayers' hard-earned wonga to the politicians' friends and backers in industry.

I swear, since the UK withdrew from EU decision making (the day after the referendum), the whole thing has gone to buggery. Every new "initiative" I see from them is somehow dumber than the last.

Forcing us to get consent before selling browser histories violates our free speech, US ISPs claim

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Re: Judgement

I reluctantly agree that the plaintiffs do make a good point.

Even more reluctantly, I would have to conclude that a judge doesn't have the authority to edit the statute to that extent. Either the law is (whatever the relevant test is), or it isn't. If it isn't, then the judge's only remedy is to declare it unenforceable, and basically send it back to the legislature to fix. The judge can't unilaterally rewrite it.

One man is standing up to Donald Trump's ban on US chip tech going to Huawei. That man... is Donald Trump

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Re: Trump leads where others follow

Johnson is smart, but not as smart as he thinks he is.

Trump is way smarter than his enemies think (which is faint praise, but still). It suits him to let them think he's dumb, and that's why he's president today. But if he seems dumb to you, that's just because you haven't worked out what he's doing yet.

(Hint: a big part of it is "riling up his base" and, just as importantly, "riling up the Democratic base". Because the more riled they get, the more bitter the primary battle will be, and the weaker the candidate that will emerge from it. Trump's dream is of a Democratic nominee whom barely half of their own party will vote for, and he's well on the way to achieving that now.)

Among those pardoned by Trump this week: Software maker ex-CEO who admitted hacking into rivals' systems

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Re: King Trump

Johnson's next move will be to remove the Fixed-term Parliaments Act so that politicians can force elections when their popularity peaks

Or to put it another way, restore the condition the UK somehow managed to live with until 2011. That doesn't sound so bad to me, particularly since the FTP Act gave rise to that farce back in October.

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Re: Things just started to look better for Harvey Weinstein

Trump doesn't have pardon power for state crimes.

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Re: meanwhile...

When you're a lawyer, every problem looks like a legal problem that can be solved by correcting the law. That's to be expected. It's a reason why we should look for more diversity in our elected representatives.

(Lawyers are OK in moderation. So are businesspeople, and engineers, and journalists, drivers and glaziers and even bankers. But when any one faction becomes dominant, it distorts everything. And don't even get me started on those kids who go into politics straight from university, without ever having had a real job...)

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This is the man who, when sent a personal check* for $0.13, actually took the time to pay it in to his bank.

("Cheque" to us English-speakers, but since everyone involved in this story was American we should let them have this.)

veti Silver badge

I doubt if cash was involved. Too easy to trace. More likely backscratching.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a flying solar panel: BAE Systems' satellite alternative makes maiden flight in Oz

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Re: Why, oh why...

Right. And in the countries where safe, reliable birth control is a thing - since it was introduced, has the population gone up or down?

I'll get you started: here.

veti Silver badge

Re: Why, oh why...

Civil wars are about who gets to govern the land. Which, ultimately, boils down to who gets to work it and who gets to live in the big houses. The imperial projects that led to World Wars 1 and 2 were about finding places for the restless young people of Europe to move to. In the 19th century Britain and France had exported their restless youth to (mostly) Africa, and Germans and Italians wanted the same options.

Even smaller wars that are ostensibly about "status" of one warlord versus another - ultimately, the question is "who's more important here, who's in charge?" And the reason why anyone cares about that - the reason why people align themselves to one side or another - is that the person in charge ultimately gets to say who's a part of "their" community, and who isn't. Life can be made very difficult for outsiders (read: those who failed to support the warlord in their effort).

Killing farmers and other ways of razing land (like Rome did to Carthage, or the Greeks to Troy) is a way of ensuring that it will be a long time before any challenge to you and your people arises from this area again. If you don't think you can exploit the land, the next best thing is to make sure nobody else can either. That means fewer rivals (who might, one day, grow to challenge you for dominance over your land).

It's always about land.

veti Silver badge

Re: Why, oh why...

If you do something "for the benefit of humanity", the mathematical result of that is "more humans".

Where, specifically, are those "more humans" going to live?

Answering that question is at the root of every single war ever fought. Yes, every one.

Good news: Neural network says 11 asteroids thought to be harmless may hit Earth. Bad news: They are not due to arrive for hundreds of years

veti Silver badge

Re: Sounds like ...

But long before they produced Hamlet, they'd have also produced a detailed account of the most embarrassing thing you ever did - complete with detailed timeline, witness and impact statements.

So let's call that Plan B, shall we?

Oracle staff say Larry Ellison's fundraiser for Trump is against 'company ethics' – Oracle, ethics... what dimension have we fallen into?

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Re: Company Vs Personal

Clearly these employees need retraining, because - as well as losing the distinction between professional and private lives - they seem to be unfamiliar with Oracle's code of ethics.

It lists "core values", and they don't include either "diversity" or "inclusiveness". The word "diversity" appears only in the context of non-discrimination in employment, and even then it's not at the level of a "core value". "Inclusiveness" doesn't appear at all.

Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches

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Re: Minimum wage?

The cited information sources are not perfect, but they are independent and as close to trustworthy as you're likely to find. If you want to debunk them, it's really on you to find something better.

Jeff Bezos: I will depose King Trump

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Re: To be honest ...

Yes. I know. My point is, that outcome came as a surprise to leading Democrats. They hadn't planned on it.

Hence, in part, their present disarray.

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Re: To be honest ...

If there is any evidence that Biden did the things you attribute to him, then Trump could have directed the Department of Justice to investigate him. He could have appointed anyone he liked to head that investigation. (I keep hearing that Rudy Giuliani is a great corruption prosecutor.) That's what he would do, if he were serious about investigating corruption.

But Trump didn't do that. Instead, he called the president of a foreign country -, a country that was at that moment particularly vulnerable and dependent on US aid that had already been duly voted through by a bipartisan consensus in Congress - and made it clear that they wouldn't be getting this aid unless they made a public statement that appeared to incriminate the Bidens.

(Whether or not there was any actual investigation, or whatever the outcome of that investigation may be, was completely immaterial to him. All he wanted was the announcement.)

veti Silver badge

Re: To be honest ...

I'm not sure what's cause and what's effect, there.

The Democrats never expected there to be a primary in 2020. After the 2016 fiasco, there was no-one (serious) in the party who was remotely ready to step up and start their campaign - because they'd all assumed that Hillary, having won 2016, would coast to an automatic renomination in 2020.

The present contenders are a bunch of has-beens who feel it's now or never, and a couple of opportunists who are mostly interested in making names for themselves - putting down markers for 2024 or beyond, rather than seriously contesting this nomination. All of them, I think, are assuming they'll lose.

But then, so was Trump in 2016. Politics is a tricky business, elections even more so.

veti Silver badge

Re: To be honest ...

Bezos is no Democrat. He's donated to politicians and causes dear to both parties.

But it's part of Trump's magic that he can make an enemy of anyone who is not sufficiently blindly devoted to him. See, e.g., Jeff Sessions, John Bolton, Gary Cohn, Gen. McMaster.

veti Silver badge

Re: To be honest ...

What planet are you on? Trump's approval among independents has not peeked above 50% since about a week after his inauguration. Admittedly the most recent nationwide poll I could find showed it increasing markedly - to 42%.

Dual screens, fast updates, no registry cruft and security in mind: Microsoft gives devs the lowdown on Windows 10X

veti Silver badge

Or maybe an opportunity for them to trial new OS ideas in a confined niche, rather than rolling them out to the whole of the long-suffering Windows 10 user base.

Ever had a script you just can't scratch? Excel on the web now has just the thing

veti Silver badge

Re: XLookup, that's nice

*Sigh*. Just when I'd learned to love MATCH...

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As I'm sure you know, that's a hilariously common error. Someone is displaying values as currency (with 2 d.p.), but has forgotten the important step of actually rounding them to that precision.

Google's second stab at preserving both privacy and ad revenue draws fire

veti Silver badge

Re: Squaring the circle

So, your policy is not to let doctors see you naked? Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, there really is a very significant difference between Google and Facebook. Google takes your private information, with or without your consent, and keeps it to itself. There has never been a credible report of their bulk data being leaked or sold to a third party.

(There's a good reason for that. Their business model involves managing the flow of information between me and their customers. If their customers could get hold of the information Google has about me, they wouldn't need Google any more, they could contact me directly.)

Facebook, on the other hand...

And that's why I personally am OK with sharing many things with Google.

veti Silver badge

Re: Squaring the circle

Only if you see privacy as an absolute, all-or-nothing quality.

I don't generally walk about naked in public, but there are people who I'm OK with seeing me that way. (E.g. my family, or any doctor I happen to be consulting.) "Privacy" includes the option to reveal private things to select people, on the understanding that they won't be more widely shared.

If Google can insinuate itself onto that list of "select people" - if not for you, then at least for a significant number of its users - then it can totally square that circle.

HPE's orders to expert accountant in Autonomy trial revealed

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Re: Extradition. Lynch:0 Sacoolas:1

Diplomatic immunity is a thing. There's no getting around that, and it was never likely that the Trump administration would voluntarily waive it just to placate some foreigners (read: non-voters).

Please don't conflate the Sacoolas case with the legal system, that was a purely political decision. Things are quite bad enough without getting them mixed up like that.

veti Silver badge

Re: Why is it moot?

The US case would be decided under the law of the US, or whichever state is applicable. The UK case is decided under UK law.

Of course it's not impossible, or even unlikely, for those two bodies of law to say different things and be interpreted by different authorities, and thus lead to different outcomes. Even if the UK (civil) court says that no civil remedy should be applied, US (criminal) law may see the matter differently.

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down

veti Silver badge

Operating systems, like all other software, absolutely do rot and break. Not by themselves, admittedly, but the whole point is they're not "by themselves".

Even after the OS has stopped getting updates, other software on it (e.g. Adobe crap) will keep getting updated. Or users or admins will change settings. Or someone will plug in a new mouse, and a new driver will be downloaded. Or whatever.

There is no realistic way of putting a freeze on the whole system, so if a single part of it is frozen, it will gradually, but inevitably, grow more and more unfit for purpose as it gets left behind.

veti Silver badge

Only if you take the batteries out.

'Windows Vista' spotted doing a whoopsie over EE's signage

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Re: AC cos I'm ashamed of saying something nice about Vista

Yeah, I used a Vista laptop with 1Gb of RAM for a while, and I often got the feeling I'd have got quicker results using a stone circle. Probably a shorter boot time, too.

The thing that made the security annoying was that every UAC prompt had to be clicked through twice. I never knew why this was, but it was never fixed in Vista. It was fixed in Windows 7, and coincidentally the moaning about UAC pretty much vanished when 7 came out.

BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer

veti Silver badge

Re: Keyboards

Yeah, the keyboards may be OK, but the mice? feckin' hamsters, more like. Hairy and smelly and prone to wander off at random whenever you don't watch closely enough.

That's what makes you hackable: Please, baby. Stop using 'onedirection' as a password

veti Silver badge

That's OK until you get to the first site that makes you change your password from time to time. Then you realise you're going to need not just one such phrase, but a potentially unlimited supply of them.

And of course it doesn't allow for sites that don't allow passwords to contain spaces, or start with numerals, or whatever other lame and usually undocumented rules they choose to apply.

veti Silver badge

Re: Don't underestimate

Yep, this is the point that seems to keep being forgotten: 90% of the sites that demand passwords are completely trivial. Who cares if someone can impersonate me on El Reg? How is that going to let them take over my life or empty my bank account?

Sure, they could troll. They could post defamatory or otherwise illegal material and I'd, presumably, get the blame, at least initially. But I'm having a hard time seeing the percentage in that. A certain level of pure spite, maybe. But profit? where?

veti Silver badge

Re: Uncomplicated

GP cites "passwordsgenerator.net", which (by default) generates your password locally, not sending it over the net at all. Feel free to disconnect your network if you don't trust them.

Colombia accused of rigging .co contract for dot-org provider Afilias – is this document a smoking gun?

veti Silver badge

Re: Shared registries?

What happens if two companies each grant the domain "myname.co"? What's going to happen when someone tries to use that in an address?

Someone has to make sure that every domain name is unique. That's the role we're talking about here. Hard to see how to make it competitive.

ICANN't approve the sale of .org to private equity – because California's Attorney General has... concerns

veti Silver badge

Nope. There's a whole sliding scale, from "unlawful" to "criminal", via "illegal" and "illicit".

Leaving your car in a parking space ten minutes after the meter has run out - unlawful. Not putting any money in the meter in the first place - illegal. Parking on the hard shoulder of a motorway - illicit. Parking in the centre lane of a motorway - criminal.

veti Silver badge

To make that work, everyone would have to agree on the domain to move to, and everyone would have to move more or less together. And the new TLD would need to have its hands meticulously tied to prevent it from pulling the same thing in future.

The alternative - several TLDs competing for the non-profit market segment - would lead to confusion, factionalism and loss of trust in the whole idea. In other words, mission accomplished - for the big-money interests that want to drive such tawdry "non-profit" nonsense to the fringes of the web and allow a clearer run for the good, healthy pursuit of $$$.

veti Silver badge

Re: Huh

Since any time they weren't sufficiently cut in, of course.

Elon Musk shows world that he is truly awful at something

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There are a lot more of the cars than rockets, so - no, not really.

Tech outfits sue Uncle Sam over 'unlawful' H-1B admission charges totaling $350m over six years

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Re: Avoiding Fees?

That would be one interpretation of the story, yes.

Another possibility is that people entered the country independently, as (say) students, and were only employed by the companies much later.

I don't see anything in the story to support either of these interpretations over the other.

Canadian insurer paid for ransomware decryptor. Now it's hunting the scum down

veti Silver badge

Re: Danegeld

Tax collectors predate Danegeld by some thousands of years.

cf. 1 Samuel 8:11-17:

And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; [...] And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

We've always known this. And yet, every civilisation in history has chosen to pay taxes anyway.

Contrast with Danegeld, of which Thomas Jefferson said: "[We] prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form and to any people whatever".

veti Silver badge

Re: Not paying!

Tapes are pretty pricey, these days.

Reliable tapes, if there is even such a thing, will be even more so. When was the last time you tried to reinstall from one of your 2-year-old backup tapes?

UN didn't patch SharePoint, got mega-hacked, covered it up, kept most staff in the dark, finally forced to admit it

veti Silver badge

So, your suggestion is that I should be required to have an annual audit on my home PC? At my expense, presumably?

Yeah, thanks, but no thanks.

Petition asking Microsoft to open-source Windows 7 sails past 7,777-signature goal

veti Silver badge

Re: This is about as deluded..

And how exactly do you propose to isolate them from "human intervention", with 7.5 billion people on the planet? How about those species (including nearly all currently living land mammals - ob XKCD) that wouldn't even exist in their present form without human intervention?

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